Viewpoint: We’re Not Even Halfway Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The only thing infection preventionists can do at this point is keep the hospital decision makers up to date daily on what variant is being seen in their area and how fast it is growing.

The public needs to pay attention to what is happening with COVID-19. So many people have said “COVID is almost over. We can return to life as it used to be.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The way I see it we are still in the middle of potentially the worse pandemic in history. We see large numbers of the Delta variant and now Omicron is on Delta’s heels. It’s likely we may see two highly contagious COVID-19 variants hitting and spreading rapidly at the same time.

Linda Spaulding, RN, CIC, BC, CHEC, CHOP

Linda Spaulding, RN, CIC, BC, CHEC, CHOP

It does not appear the unvaccinated are going to change their minds at this point and the vaccinated think they don’t need, or they don’t want, to wear masks and social distance anymore. This is verified by the number of people in public without a mask on just pretending nothing is going on.

Numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise. We have high numbers of cases of COVID-19 currently in some states and now Omicron is positioned to maybe double the numbers. Just how high of a COVID-19 rate can we get before the health care system crashes? I believe that we will end up with over 1 million individuals dying of COVID-19 and that is very sad.

The only thing infection preventionists can do at this point is keep the hospital decision makers up to date daily on what variant is being seen in their area and how fast it is growing. I predict that soon after Christmas we may see percentage rates of COVID-19 go up to 20% or greater in many states.

People are gathering for the holidays this year acting like COVID-19 is gone. It’s sad that so many people have to experience having COVID-19, but I’ve witnessed even after having COVID-19 and being very sick that people still do not protect themselves against getting COVID-19 a second time.

I don’t think we will ever have an answer as to why this is and hence COVID-19 will continue, and the incubators (people who get COVID-19) will continue to create variants until many more die. I don’t think we are close to ridding COVID-19 from our midst. I think we are almost halfway through the pandemic.

I predict this will be the longest pandemic in history driven by people who just don’t want to understand or don’t want to know what is happening.

Linda Spaulding, RN, CIC, BC, CHEC, CHOP, is an infection prevention consultant and founder of InCo and Associates International, Inc. She is also a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board.

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